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Thread: Have you experienced poverty?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009

    Default Have you experienced poverty?

    As it would be experienced in your community/culture/context? I think even absolute definitions of poverty are relative anyway. What was it like? Was there anything good about it? Were you aware of it? Did you feel trapped or did you just feel it was temporary or something you could escape easily enough? Did influence you feelings about poverty experienced by other people?

  2. #2
    mrs Array disregard's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Definitely. I have learned everything there is to know about pawning, check cashing, food stamps, etc because my mom has been poor most of my life. Now she lives within her means and I help her out when I can. I have learned financial responsibility by not following in her path.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Wolfie's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    4w5 so


    I have. I feel those questions need an essay written in response.

    I was super aware of it and self conscious about it when I was little. I started being less self conscious about it during high school around my close friends, but it wasn't until I was an adult and being poor suddenly became "cool" that I began to feel comfortable about it. Also now that I'm in control of my own life.

    I relate better to people who have experienced poverty or rather I don't relate well to people who have had "normal" lives.
    ( . )( . )

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Snoopy22's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    9w1 so/sp


    Possibly, if living out of a car, stretching a 10-pound bag of rice over one and a half month, living off one box of no name Mac and cheese per day or having Army Meps lie to get you into basic training due to being 10 pounds under the acceptable weight would classify as poverty. You live within your means whither you make $10 a week or $1000. I was no more aware of it then, then I would be aware that I’m at a disadvantage now because I’m not a millionaire, you enjoy life no matter what you have or make, otherwise you will never enjoy it no matter how much you make. I have mercy to people suffering from adjustments in their living wages, but less pity, (it’s a learning experience, although better experienced while young then old).

  5. #5
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    One sx/sp


    Yes. Let's put it this way. My dad was the sole income for my mother and four (though most of them time only three) children. I make a little over $26,000 a year. and I make more money than my dad ever did in his life. The severity of it went up and down. The worst time was a period of over three years, we lived we out in the boondocks in what was originally a summer cottage all year around. It was not properly insulated for winter and had one heating vent badly placed beneath the ceiling. The water smelled like sulfur and was not drinkable without serious indigestion. Our home had been infested by mice, cockroaches, ants, termites, fleas (an incredible number of fleas) and several colorful varieties of mold (including black mold). There were frequent power outage issues. Also we had a septic tank, no sewage system, and I recall when that thing needed to be repaired without fondness.

    If there was anything good about it at all, it gave me direct experience of a reality that I'm going to find many people apparently don't know about.

    I started to be aware of it when we lived in that awful cottage, when I was 4 to 8. By the time I was 10 I was starkly aware of it. I suppose I was technically poor until I was 18. I did feel trapped. I felt that it could not be escaped, I often felt it was hopeless. I think for the better part of it I couldn't even imagine being as well off as I am now, which is still pretty modest. But some standards I still am poor, the fact that I support only myself being the saving grace. Between living with my parents and by myself there was a a three year period of living with my brother and his girlfriend that was decidedly middle-class. That was it. All the time I was living with my family, even when it wasn't the worst of times, the effects were obvious. There was a sense of limitation on everything. Items you can't own, food you can't eat, places you can't go, classes you can't take. And it was obvious I was not an equal citizen.

    It makes me feel more sympathetic to people in poverty, and I think it makes me feel slightly disconnected from people who've never experienced it.
    Go to sleep, iguana.

    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  6. #6


    Once a guy asked me for a buck, I offered him a meal at the mexican restaurant across the street. He turned it down, he wanted a beer.

    Im 23 and have held 2 40k+ jobs, currently working with a partner to break the strides ive taken. I understand the human condition of poverty but will not accept it for myself or loved ones.

    I could also get burnt out after this adventure and end my days in a ditch chugging alcoholic energy drinks. I really dont know.

  7. #7


    yes i have -

    in the US, after a heated argument with the boss over a month and a half delay with our wages, i was fired from a company that provided both our jobs and housing. as a result, i ended up having neither, and the reason i entered the fight to began with was that we never planned for such a period and what i had was being depleted. the place i had as a backup took me, then the next day apparently got a threatening call from the place i left, which apparently has a reputation within that specific... let's say 'business community' (none of those businesses are strong on the lawful department, for obvious reasons, but it extended beyond that). i ended up being homeless for two weeks.
    over a year later in Canada, after we started getting visits from immigration (because of members of her family probably), i had to be a stay at home dad for the immigration processing period to make it work, and my (now ex) wife was a student/ we lived off her student loans (OSAP) as a family, the three of us.

    thats being said, i grow up very upper middle class, this was for me going from one extreme to the other. the first experience was amazingly free in a way, and the most terrifying. the later was the most stress i've ever experienced. both cases felt temporary, the later ended up being that for all the wrong reasons.

  8. #8


    No, I used to think my family was poor, because I was comparing my family to other families in my town. We wore hand me down and goodwill clothes and never went on vacation or out to eat or to the movies, but we always, always had enough to food, and I never had to worry about us getting kicked out of our home or anything like that.

    So, for that, I am very grateful!
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Lateralus's Avatar
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    May 2007


    Would a family of 10 living on less than $30,000 per year count?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
    I relate better to people who have experienced poverty or rather I don't relate well to people who have had "normal" lives.
    I really get that you know, I dont like inverse snobbery, of which I was totally a culprit when I was in my later teens but I totally relate to that sentiment.

    I think that had a great article about five things which indicate you've grown up poor, one of them was about loving awful food, that one was totally true, the only other one I remember was about being generous to a fault and gift giving, sort of buying rubbish often rather than buying a single expensive but useful gift annually. I related to that piece too.

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